IndyCar’s Josef Newgarden tattoos NASCAR Cup champion Ryan Blaney’s face on him after losing a bet with his Penske teammate

Both Ryan Blaney and josef newgarden drive under the same, Team Penske banner but in different categories

IndyCar’s Josef Newgarden tattoos NASCAR Cup champion Ryan Blaney’s face on him after losing a bet with his Penske teammate

Ryan Blaney and Josef Newgarden (Via @JosefNewgarden/X)

In the world of motorsports, camaraderie, and friendly banter often accompany intense rivalries. A recent example of this comes from the unexpected camaraderie between NTT IndyCar Series star Josef Newgarden and NASCAR Cup Series champion Ryan Blaney, as a friendly wager led to a unique and humorous outcome.

The story begins with a text message exchange between Newgarden and Blaney on November 6, the day after Blaney secured the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway. Newgarden’s message, now immortalized in the annals of motorsport lore, stated, “If you win this championship, I’m getting your face tattooed on my thigh.” Little did Newgarden know that Blaney would indeed triumph, setting the stage for an unconventional celebration.


True to his word, Newgarden, the 2023 Indianapolis 500 winner, took the banter to the next level by receiving a temporary tattoo of Blaney’s bearded face alongside the coveted Bill France Cup. The fresh ink found its place on Newgarden’s right thigh, a canvas chosen for its combination of visibility and humor.

Newgarden shared the amusing outcome with the world by posting a photo on X (formerly Twitter). In the snapshot, he proudly displays the tattoo while standing next to none other than Blaney himself, who, in contrast to his tattooed counterpart, appeared clean-shaven.

Ryan Blaney and Josef Newgarden had an online exchange on the same

The saga didn’t end with the tattoo, though. The two drivers continued their banter on social media, adding an extra layer of hilarity to the already amusing situation. When Blaney inquired about the tattoo’s size, asking;

What’s the diameter of this portrait going to be?
Josef Newgarden and  Ryan Blaney
Josef Newgarden and Ryan Blaney (Credits: X)

Newgarden, true to his playful nature, replied,

No one said anything about size, Mr. President.

Blaney, known for his wit and humor, further specified his expectations for the tattoo. “Full beard. We won the championship, full beard, full mustache. I want my face,” he declared. The reference to an “1800s U.S. president” added a historical twist to the banter, showcasing the camaraderie and good spirits between the two Penske teammates.

The entire episode provided a refreshing break from the intensity of motorsports competition, highlighting the bonds formed between competitors. While the tattoo was confirmed as temporary by NASCAR, adding a touch of relief for Newgarden, the humorous bet left an indelible mark on the motorsport community.


As the 2023 racing season concluded, Blaney wrapped up the Cup Series with three victories and the championship title. On the IndyCar front, Newgarden’s successful campaign included four wins, notably the prestigious Indianapolis 500, and a commendable fifth-place finish in the driver standings.

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